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Oviedo
03-25-2010, 10:45 AM
Why does every mock have us taking Guards when we seem stacked with interior linemen (Kemo, Hartwig, Essex, Urbik, Legursky, Foster) and we have nothing at OT (Starks, Colon, Hills and the new guy from Buffalo)?

I would think if we are going OL it would make sense that it would be an OT and not more interior linemen. Yet all the mocks have us taking guys like Iupati, Jerry, etc.

I know there was talk that Iupati might have the athleticism to develop into and OT but just cant wrap my mind around why everyone has us taking Guards.

Thoughts?

Chadman
03-25-2010, 11:00 AM
In Chadman's opinion- the OT position is somewhat set for the next few seasons with 2 reletively young starting OT's in Starks & Colon. Essex should be the swing back-up OT, & Scott might surprise. The Steelers could probably add an OT for depth, but they don't need starters there.

Why interior OL?

Because the starting RG last season was the underwhelming Trai Essex, who should really go back to OT where he won't be asked to be a bulldozer. Kraig Urbik was passed over by undrafted rookie Ramon Foster, who looked promising, but is hardly a set in stone option & might have a nice career as a rotational/ back-up OL guy. The RG position is just not set, at all, and could use an immediate upgrade. Add to that, the Steelers FO believes they can't convert short yardage running plays consistantly, so more beef in the middle goes some way to fixing that.

As for Center- Hartwig was, by almost every stat measurable, the WORST starting Center in the NFL last season. Chadman likes Legursky- but isn't willing to bet the house on him becoming the starter. And quite frankly- Chadman likes Matt Tennant more than Legursky.

So that is why Chadman looks at Interior OL in this draft.

phillyesq
03-25-2010, 11:03 AM
Why does every mock have us taking Guards when we seem stacked with interior linemen (Kemo, Hartwig, Essex, Urbik, Legursky, Foster) and we have nothing at OT (Starks, Colon, Hills and the new guy from Buffalo)?

I would think if we are going OL it would make sense that it would be an OT and not more interior linemen. Yet all the mocks have us taking guys like Iupati, Jerry, etc.

I know there was talk that Iupati might have the athleticism to develop into and OT but just cant wrap my mind around why everyone has us taking Guards.

Thoughts?

Here are my thoughts. Kemo has developed into a decent left guard, and I think he is pretty safe.

Hartwig and Essex are both average, at best. Neither is dominant as a run blocker or as a pass blocker. Essex, especially, isn't very athletic, and he isn't as powerful as you'd hope with somebody his size. Legursky is a solid backup, and may even be able to become an average starter. Urbik is unproven, and while Foster is versatile, it seems as though he would be no more than adequate.

The thinking with Iupati is that you replace an adequate player with one who is potentially dominant (of course, there are questions about Iupati as well). If the Steelers believe that he could become a dominant guard, I'd love for him to replace Essex, and move Essex back into the Foster role of game day swing lineman. If there was a Nick Mangold or Alex Mack type in this draft, I'd love to see the Steelers go in that direction, but it doesn't look like that type of talent is there this year.

While I think that a premium player at G makes sense, I really don't want to see another third rounder. The Steelers have plenty of guys who are adequate, and they don't need to add anybody else to the mix at G/C who will be just adequate.

The coaches seem high on Colon, and Starks is a decent left tackle. I'm not sure how the new OL coach views Colon -- if he seems him as a RT, than I'd rather lock up Colon. If he seems him as a RG candidate, than I think an OT makes a lot of sense as a high pick.

ramblinjim
03-25-2010, 11:11 AM
Well we are assuming that we keep Colon around too. He's at the end of his contract and everyone seems to think he's the best lineman on the team. I'm with the "if we just had a good blocking full back we'd do better" crowd.

BradshawsHairdresser
03-25-2010, 12:09 PM
Ken Laird is reporting that the Steelers are high on Pouncey for their first-round pick.

I'm not sold on Pouncey. Though he is one of the top-rated centers, I'm not convinced he's really a first-round talent. I'm not sure there's any center in this class that merits the 18th pick. I'd be OK with Tennant later on.

birtikidis
03-25-2010, 12:19 PM
Pouncey is as good as advertised. I personally think that he is as good as Mack was(and I know no-one will agree with me). He has the ability to get to the second level, he can pull, and he's strong.
as to the original question- weren't Essex and Foster both Tackles in college? weren't they playing out of position last season? I wouldn't mind adding a guard in the 3rd or 4th round...

NW Steeler
03-25-2010, 12:29 PM
I'd be pissed if we took Pouncey at #18. I've read a lot of reports that say he is a second round prospect at best, but is being overvalued because the C position is weak this year. The reason everyone is talking about the OG position is that we have a bunch of second string guys playing the position. We need an upgrade. If Colon is our best Olineman, then we definitely need to infuse some talent in our line, because Colon is average at his best, IMO. A lot of people point out that we won the SB with the Oline we have. We won XLIII because of a dominant D and a Houdini QB, not because of our line. I don't want to see us go back to Cowher ball, but I do want to see us become more physical and balanced on offense. We need some new horses on our line to do that.

Steel Life
03-25-2010, 12:41 PM
Go with Mitch Petrus in the 3rd for better value for the interior O-Line spots & he's a possible OC conversion (former Fullback). But I'm with O on this, I've gotten concerned with Pouncey's ability to handle the POA since he's operated mainly out of the spread. I'd prefer to find a young OT to develop like Tony Washington (Abilene Christian) in later rounds.

RuthlessBurgher
03-25-2010, 12:45 PM
I think you can look at the o-line pretty much the same way you look at the secondary.

At safety, we have starters entrenched (Polamalu and Clark), but not much in terms of depth (only Allen and Mundy). We have quality, but not quantity here.

At cornerback, we have more bodies (William Gay, Keenan Lewis, Joe Burnett, Trae Williams, David Pittman), so depth isn't as much of an issue, but we could certainly use an upgrade at starting CB (Who starts opposite Ike this year?). We have quantity, but not quality here.

Similarly...

At tackle, we have starters entrenched (Starks and Colon), but not much in terms of depth (Hills and Scott...or maybe move Essex or Foster from guard to tackle). We have quality, but not quantity here.

At guard/center, we have more bodies (Kemoeatu, Hartwig, Essex, Legursky, Foster, Urbik), so depth isn't as much of an issue, but we could certainly use an upgrade at starting C & RG (Hartwig and Essex are not the long term solutions.). We have quantity, but not quality here.

Oviedo
03-25-2010, 01:14 PM
I'd be pissed if we took Pouncey at #18. I've read a lot of reports that say he is a second round prospect at best, but is being overvalued because the C position is weak this year. The reason everyone is talking about the OG position is that we have a bunch of second string guys playing the position. We need an upgrade. If Colon is our best Olineman, then we definitely need to infuse some talent in our line, because Colon is average at his best, IMO. A lot of people point out that we won the SB with the Oline we have. We won XLIII because of a dominant D and a Houdini QB, not because of our line. I don't want to see us go back to Cowher ball, but I do want to see us become more physical and balanced on offense. We need some new horses on our line to do that.

Pouncey in Round 1 would be a horrible pick. he is not a power run game blocker and he would get eaten alive by the AFC North NTs. He play high and without great leverage. Most of his run blocking has been getting to the second level to pick off LBs to support the runs off tackle and outside that made up 75% of all the running plays that Floridsa ran.

If we took Pouncey at #18 it would be the worst #1 draft pick this decade.

NW Steeler
03-25-2010, 01:29 PM
Go with Mitch Petrus in the 3rd for better value for the interior O-Line spots & he's a possible OC conversion (former Fullback). But I'm with O on this, I've gotten concerned with Pouncey's ability to handle the POA since he's operated mainly out of the spread. I'd prefer to find a young OT to develop like Tony Washington (Abilene Christian) in later rounds.

I'd rather spend the picks at the top if we are going to pick OL. If we get 3rd round and later talent, it will be more of the same that we already have.

birtikidis
03-25-2010, 01:35 PM
I'd be pissed if we took Pouncey at #18. I've read a lot of reports that say he is a second round prospect at best, but is being overvalued because the C position is weak this year. The reason everyone is talking about the OG position is that we have a bunch of second string guys playing the position. We need an upgrade. If Colon is our best Olineman, then we definitely need to infuse some talent in our line, because Colon is average at his best, IMO. A lot of people point out that we won the SB with the Oline we have. We won XLIII because of a dominant D and a Houdini QB, not because of our line. I don't want to see us go back to Cowher ball, but I do want to see us become more physical and balanced on offense. We need some new horses on our line to do that.

Pouncey in Round 1 would be a horrible pick. he is not a power run game blocker and he would get eaten alive by the AFC North NTs. He play high and without great leverage. Most of his run blocking has been getting to the second level to pick off LBs to support the runs off tackle and outside that made up 75% of all the running plays that Floridsa ran.

If we took Pouncey at #18 it would be the worst #1 draft pick this decade.
I dont' know where you guys get this "he's poor at the POA and would get eaten up by NT's". He may struggle if he started next season (just like any other center that starts as a rookie, with few exceptions) but, I think the upgrade would be night and day difference. saying that, I wouldn't take him at #18 either... since I think our needs and value is on the other side of the ball.

birtikidis
03-25-2010, 01:50 PM
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper listed Pouncey as his fastest-rising prospect during a Thursday morning segment of SportsCenter.

“This kid has a higher grade, I believe, than (New York Jets’ first-round pick) Nick Mangold did when he came out (of Ohio State in 2006),” Kiper said. “A highly rated center like Maurkice Pouncey, who can play guard, could interest the Steelers at 18. I’ve had him (in a mock draft) with Philadelphia at 24.

“Everybody you talk to says he’s highly regarded now, a lot of praise coming for Pouncey.”

Pouncey, Kiper said, has “been solidly in the first round if you could find a team to take a center.”

Centers are not typically drafted in the first round, but in an extreme rarity, two were selected last season.

Kiper said Pouncey compares favorably to 2009 first-round picks Alex Mack and Eric Wood. Mack, who went to University of California, was taken by the Cleveland Browns with the 21st overall pick. Buffalo used the 28th-overall pick to draft Eric Wood out of Louisville.

Another ESPN draft analyst, Todd McShay, has projected Pouncey to be taken in the first round by the Indianapolis Colts with the 31st pick
http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20100324/ARTICLES/100329643/1136?Title=Pouncey-climbing-on-draft-boards

phillyesq
03-25-2010, 02:02 PM
[quote="Steel Life":1unmn0mg]Go with Mitch Petrus in the 3rd for better value for the interior O-Line spots & he's a possible OC conversion (former Fullback). But I'm with O on this, I've gotten concerned with Pouncey's ability to handle the POA since he's operated mainly out of the spread. I'd prefer to find a young OT to develop like Tony Washington (Abilene Christian) in later rounds.

I'd rather spend the picks at the top if we are going to pick OL. If we get 3rd round and later talent, it will be more of the same that we already have.[/quote:1unmn0mg]

:Agree

The Steelers have enough mediocrity on the offensive line. Either make a significant upgrade or do nothing, as long as they don't keep adding more mediocre players to the mix.

NW Steeler
03-25-2010, 02:08 PM
Yes, and that is why I think Chadman's mock makes a lot of sense.

isonator07
03-25-2010, 02:36 PM
I just wonder if the new o-line coach can fix any of the problems on the line. If so I would be thrilled to be able to address the defensive side (DL and DB's) and maybe RB depth. It would be nice to have some first round talent on the line though.

hawaiiansteel
03-25-2010, 03:38 PM
Ken Laird is reporting that the Steelers are high on Pouncey for their first-round pick.

I'm not sold on Pouncey. Though he is one of the top-rated centers, I'm not convinced he's really a first-round talent. I'm not sure there's any center in this class that merits the 18th pick. I'd be OK with Tennant later on.


here is more on what Ken Laird said -

Ken Laird, ESPN1250.com, Steelers Blog

Remember last year when two interior offensive linemen the Steelers were interested in (Alex Mack went to Cleveland at 21 and Eric Wood went to Buffalo at 28) went ahead of their #32 pick in the draft? A year later, the Steelers may very well make amends for missing out on an interior mauler. We've known since the NFL Combine that Idaho guard Mike Iupati is highly thought of by the Black and Gold (Iupati has said the Steelers told him in an interview him he was the #1 lineman on their draft board). Now, I'm hearing the Steelers are very high on University of Florida center Maurkice Pouncey (pronounced MAR-keece). Maurkice came out after his junior season, where he won the Rimington Award as the nation's top collegiate center. Pouncey was a part of a national championship team in 2008 (beating Oklahoma) with the Gators, and has 40 starts under his belt. At 6'4, 304 lbs, Pouncey has the size but also packs remarkable quickness, punch, and leverage into a big body. At his pro day last Wednesday (where Mike Tomlin was present), Pouncey did 26 reps on the bench press at 225 lbs, and jumped 27 inches in the vertical. Watching him at the Combine, he showed staggering agility and movement for a big body. As a part of a largely shotgun based offense with Tim Tebow at quarterback the last two seasons, the Steelers would need to groom Maurkice into a more conventional style but he has reportedly shown good ability to snap direct as well. His identical twin brother Mike played right guard for the Gators and will remain at UF this season. The two look so alike they were often were unable to be distinguished even by teammates (one fellow lineman said in an interview he knew Mike because he had a tattoo of flames on his arm that Maurkice didn't have). If he comes to the Steelers with the 18th overall pick in the draft, he'll team with Florida grad Max Starks on the Steelers offensive line. Maurkice also started 11 of 13 games as a true freshman in college at right guard, and with Steelers center Justin Hartwig signed through 2012, there is a possibility they could look at Pouncey at RG in Pittsburgh as well.

http://steelershotline.com/coverstory.html

RuthlessBurgher
03-25-2010, 03:58 PM
We should draft Maurkice this year, and then his identical twin brother Mike next year! That solves C and RG. We should also draft Devin McCourty, then trade for his identical twin brother Jason, who currently plays for the Titans. That solves CB. Then we should bring in Tiki and Ronde Barber as offensive and defensive assistant coaches. Then we should invite Omar Epps to visit Latrobe for camp. The fans would be all confused.

hawaiiansteel
03-25-2010, 05:09 PM
here is our new center, can play every OL position EXCEPT tight end...


http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d156/MysteryD8/fullback.jpg

Chadman
03-25-2010, 06:22 PM
No better place than here to post these stats...

Steelers OL-

QB Sacks Allowed-
Max Starks- 8 (7th in NFL for OT)
Willie Colon- 6 (25th in NFL for OT)
Chris Kemoeatu- 4 (5th in NFL for OG)
Ramon Foster- 0 (74th in NFL for OG)
Trai Essex- 1 (49th in NFL for OG)
Justin Hartwig- 7 (1st in NFL for OC)

QB Hits Allowed-
Max Starks- 8 (18th in NFL for OT)
Willie Colon- 4 (48th in NFL for OT)
Chris Kemoeatu- 3 (37th in NFL for OG)
Ramon Foster- 5 (22nd in NFL for OG)
Trai Essex- 7 (11th in NFL for OG)
Justin Hartwig- 4 (7th in NFL for OC)

QB Pressures Allowed-
Max Starks- 15 (48th in NFL for OT)
Willie Colon- 5 (75th in NFL for OT)
Chris Kemoeatu- 9 (52nd in NFL for OG)
Ramon Foster- 10 (43rd in NFL for OG)
Trai Essex- 27 (1st in NFL for OG)
Justin Hartwig- 15 (2nd in NFL for OC)

Run Block Ratings using Pro Football Focus formula (not going to pretend to know how they figure this out)-
Max Starks- 3.8 (20th in NFL for OT)
Willie Colon- 3.3 (25th in NFL for OT)
Chris Kemoeatu- 1.1 (35th in NFL for OG)
Ramon Foster- -1.4 (52nd in NFL for OG)
Trai Essex- -16.4 (82nd in NFL for OG)
Justin Hartwig- -11.7 (32nd in NFL for OC)

Chadman
03-25-2010, 06:29 PM
Chadman used the green colour to highlight "good stats" & the red colour to highlight "bad stats".

Ramon Foster's stats need to be viewed slightly differently (same with Kemo really) as both played less snaps than the other players mentioned.

Of particular concern is that Justin Hartwig is at the top, or near the top, of every catagory for "bad stats" for the Center position in the NFL.

That said, Trai Essex didn't fair much better at OG.

Interestingly enough- our OT's were neither great or bad in most stats. Willie Colon graded out 3rd overall for OT's on this site in the NFL. Maybe the FO are right in their assessment of Willie?

http://www.profootballfocus.com/by_posi ... numgames=1 (http://www.profootballfocus.com/by_position.php?tab=by_position&season=2009&pos=C&stype=r&runpass=&teamid=-1&numsnaps=25&numgames=1)

pfelix73
03-27-2010, 11:06 AM
Now we're back at looking at stats. OK. Those can be thrown out- IMO. The QB was to blame for the 60% or so of those sacks. And I'm not complaining about it. This has been a topic for discussion for many years now and it won't go away. Where is MSM? OR do those stats not include those that are the responsibility of say- the QB, or a blown OL play call, etc. I say put in a freaking FB, one that actually is a FB and NOT a TE and see what happens then. The blocking will improve and the running game will too. I just hope Tomlin has enough guts to tell BA this, or it won't get any better.

Here's reality- We already have enough OL on the team as it is. There is plenty of competition there for camp. Yes, you can say the same for the secondary, but on the defensive side, we need more play makers, so to me, the CB spot needs upgrading and is the #1 priority for the 1st round.

I'll withhold judgment on using a high round pick on a C until after next year. I'd like to see Legursky get a fair shot at replacing Hartwig. Whenever that will be.

:tt2

buckeyehoppy
03-29-2010, 12:03 AM
Why does every mock have us taking Guards when we seem stacked with interior linemen (Kemo, Hartwig, Essex, Urbik, Legursky, Foster) and we have nothing at OT (Starks, Colon, Hills and the new guy from Buffalo)?

I would think if we are going OL it would make sense that it would be an OT and not more interior linemen. Yet all the mocks have us taking guys like Iupati, Jerry, etc.

I know there was talk that Iupati might have the athleticism to develop into and OT but just cant wrap my mind around why everyone has us taking Guards.

Thoughts?

Unless the G or C prospect can come in a start immediately for us, there's really no reason to go there in the 1st Round. It's not out of the realm of possibility that either Iupati or Pouncey could come in a stake a claim to a starting spot next year.

*Note: for those who doubt the mediocrity of the Steelers OL, look at the stats Chadman put up.*

There is no player on this line who should feel comfortable about their starting job if the Steelers pull a miracle out of their hats and draft an OL player in either the 1st or 2nd Round.

OTOH, I'll believe it when I see it... the Steelers WILL NOT be drafting for the OL in Rounds 1 or 2... put that projection in the bank.

*Additional Note to Ovie: your remarks on Pouncey are duly noted. I'd have to say that I'm in agreement.*

birtikidis
03-29-2010, 04:18 PM
I think we could use an interior lineman. I think that Hartwig is the second worst player on the team (he must be traumatized by all the times he's been sexually assaulted by big ben). but i don't think we go center in the first round. maybe tenant at some point. I like Pouncey but think that our issues with age at other positions is what is important.